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The Week Ahead in Congress

July 5, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate had originally set this week aside as a vacation period, but Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] decided last week that keeping the Senate around to work on debt ceiling negotiations was more important than more time off, so he’s called the Senate back. The Senate and the House both convene today with only 9 working days left before the July 22nd deadline that the White House has set for Congress to pass a debt limiting increase in order to avoid default in early August. Needless to say, debt talks will be ongoing all week, and there’s still a lot on the table to discuss — how much the ceiling should be increased by, whether it should last beyond the 2012 elections or not, and, of course, what spending and revenue measure should be attached to it.

While those discussions happen behind the scenes, both chambers have set full legislative floor schedules for themselves as well. The House will be voting on the massive $649 billion Department of Defense spending bill for 2012, among other things, while the Senate kicks things off with a resolution to authorize U.S. military involvement in Libya.

Here’s the House floor schedule:

On Monday, the House is not in session.

On Tuesday, the House will meet at 1:00 p.m. in Pro Forma session.

On Wednesday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. Members are advised that the 6:30 p.m. vote series is expected to last longer than usual.**

Continue Consideration of H.R. 2219 – Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012 (Open Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Young / Appropriations Committee)

The rule provides for no further general debate and makes in order any amendment offered that complies with the House rules.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1) H.Res. 268 – Reaffirming the United States’ commitment to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor / Foreign Affairs Committee)

2) H.R. 515
– Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act of 2011, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith / Foreign Affairs Committee)

On Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes for the week are expected no later than 3:00 p.m.

Complete Consideration of H.R. 2219 - Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012 (Open Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Young / Appropriations Committee)

The rule provides for no further general debate and makes in order any amendment offered that complies with the House rules.

Begin Consideration of H.R. 2354 - Energy and Water Appropriations Act, 2012 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen / Appropriations Committee)

Begin Consideration of H.R. 1309 – Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Judy Biggert / Financial Services Committee)

And here’s what we know about the Senate schedule so far:

  • The Senate will convene at 11:30am on Friday, July 1st for a pro-forma session only, with no business conducted.
  • The Senate will re-convene at 2pm on Tuesday, July 5, 2011.  Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to Calendar #88, S.J.Res.20, the Kerry-McCain resolution regarding Libya.
  • The first vote of the week will be on Tuesday, July 5th on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.J.Res.20.  Senator Reid announced this vote will run longer than usual to accommodate Senators returning from the Independence Day holiday.

As I explained last week, the Libya resolution is designed to appease nearly everyone, and for that reason may end up passing both the Senate and the House. In essence, it would give the President congressional approval for the military mission, limit that authorization to 1 year, state that the mission does in fact involve “hostilities,” block funding for ground troops. Note that since it is a joint resolution it needs to be passed by both chambers, in identical form, and be signed into law for it to have any effect.

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  • HildaSuf 07/05/2011 2:11pm

    The far left seem to repeat Shiller’s lies(below) – What’s scary is people who are government officials, are downplaying and slandering TEA people.
    Civics needs to be taught in schools – Americans’ are more concerned with who has talent than who is stealing their wealth – much of the reason is because the importance of politics is demeaned.
    rr-com NPR executive slams tea party on hidden camera – Mar 09 2011 “…A National Public Radio executive blasts the tea party movement as ’’racist’’ and ’’xenophobic’’…“The current Republican Party is not really the Republican Party. It’s been hijacked by this group that is … not just Islamophobic but, really, xenophobic,” Schiller said in the video, referring to the tea party movement. "They believe in sort of white, middle America, gun-toting — it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.

  • HildaSuf 07/05/2011 2:14pm

    Type the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, the men who risked everything – these people should be honored by voting with knowledge, and not for possible personal gain.
    —newsmax-com Debt Commission Leaders Paint Gloomy Picture 11 Jul 2010 “…The nation’s total federal debt next year is expected to exceed $14 trillion — about $47,000 for every U.S. Resident… if the U.S. makes no changes it will be spending $2 trillion by 2020 just for interest on the national debt. “Just think about that: All that money, going somewhere else, to create jobs and opportunity somewhere else,”…”
    -For insight into Obama’s views on the courts and the Constitution, see the AT piece, “Obama the Justifier”, by Selwyn Duke, 10/3/08.
    -examiner-com June 3 2010 President Obama and the DOW: Both the Destruction of Wealth; both truly unbelievable’
    -townhallmob-com 8 12 2009 was democrats’ health care strategy written in federal prison?

  • HildaSuf 07/05/2011 2:17pm Obama Nominee Donald Berwick’s Radical Agenda May 12 2010 – “Any health care funding plan that is just equitable civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.” – **Donald Berwick (Obama administration nominee to run Medicare and Medicaid)

  • HildaSuf 07/05/2011 2:17pm

    -nypost-com O’s radical pick for Medicare O’s radical pick for Medicare June 16, 2010 – “Controversy is mounting over Dr. Donald Berwick, President Obama’s nominee to run Medicare and Medicaid - and for good reason. Berwick’s writings reveal that he would make radical changes — seniors beware…… in Berwick’s plan, many — perhaps most — primary-care providers would not be physicians…seniors have been able to call any doctor who takes Medicare, get treatment and have the federal government pay. Not in the future…He argues for a different focus, social justice…These subgroups — which can be defined by age, disease affliction or socio-economic status — should be the “unit of concern,” not the individual patient…A fervent ideologue, Berwick puts social engineering ahead of the individual patient’s needs. In contrast, most doctors understand that their duty is to heal each patient who comes to them.”

  • barbaradishon29 07/06/2011 8:45am

    please tell me the objectives of senate?

  • luminous 07/06/2011 5:19pm


    Donald Berwick is wrong, a universal system would reduce the amount of wealth redistribution in the United States. It would be vastly cheaper as well, While having better outcomes and covering everybody.

    - $450 Billion per year in health care related tax deductions
    - $150-200 Billion per year in written off debt in medical bankruptcies
    - $400-700 Billion per year in “administrative costs” in private insurance
    - $600-700 Billion per year in federal medicare and medicaid taxes
    - 20% of hospital care is never paid for and written off or more correctly put written into everyone else’s insurance premiums.
    - $430 billion per year in State health programs(medicaid/CHIP, private insurance premium assistance, pubic employee health plans etc)
    - Millions of man hours worth of lost productivity from untreated illness do to lack of access to care.

    Their are likely Items I am missing in that list as well. But needless to say we could pass Single payer as a TAX CUT.

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